the company claims it will make a loss of about $2 per handset
The Freedom 251 smartphone, priced at Rs 251 (£3) has been produced by Ringing Bells, an Indian technology firm based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The Freedom 251 model is an Android phone with an Apple feel with 4 inches of screen space. With a front and back camera, it features basic standard Android apps.
The company led by managing director, Mohit Goel, has created a phone that will cost Indians about Rs 251, which is about £3.
To create such a cheap and affordable device, Goel has created a business model which imports the smartphone components from Taiwan instead of China.
Alternatively, manufacturing all the components in India would then make Goel’s company eligible to attract tax subsidies and further reduce the cost of manufacturing. Currently, he says the typical cost is about Rs 2300-2500 for the phone inclusive of all costs. If parts are made in India, it would cost about Rs 1350.
It addition, to make the business more viable, charging app developers to bundle their apps with the phone would increase income.
To break-even or to make a profit the company must sell volumes, for which Ringing Bells needs investment of about Rs 50,000 crore from the Indian government to support his venture.
Without investment, he cannot manufacture enough handsets to meet demand.
This was a key reason why he could not meet the 250,000 smartphone orders initially ordered upon announcement of the device. He simply had no funds to support the business growth.
Currently, the company claims it will make a loss of about $2 per handset but they have manufactured about 5,000 devices ready to deliver.
They have also instigated the production of another 200,000 handsets.
In addition to the Freedom 251 model, Ringing Bells has also launched other products to support the growth of the company, including a HD LED TV for Rs 9,9900, four feature phones and two other smartphones.
Goel wants the government to invest Rs 50,000 crore into the company to realise his dream of producing very affordable smartphones for the nation.
The question now remains if Ringing Bells can truly deliver the growth it anticipates and make the Freedom 251 an extremely popular smartphone in India.